Restaurant Review: Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant in Southie

This newest hangout is a neighborhood crowd-pleaser.

lincoln tavern and restaurant in southiePhoto by Fawn Deviney

Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant opened in October on a stretch of West Broadway that was once home to little more than a Rent-a-Center, a liquor store, and a few cheap pizza joints. People have been waiting in the cold to get in ever since. With its bustling scene and upscale comfort food, the restaurant is exactly the kind of place the young, upwardly mobile newcomers to the neighborhood have been waiting for. It’s loud and exciting, with two bars that span the length of the enormous space, a wood-burning oven, and soaring ceilings accented by exposed-brick walls.

The food, for the most part, is as solid as the concept. Chef Nicholas Dixon, a veteran of Lucky’s Lounge, has created a wide-ranging menu—pizza, sandwiches, pasta, and larger dishes—that should appeal to everyone from the drink-and-a-snack crowd to those seeking a full meal. Standouts include the salty-sweet bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with almonds and blue cheese ($6), and a wood-fired pizza topped with fontina and pecorino cheeses, rosemary oil, bacon, and slices of butternut squash ($11). The salty-sweet balance shows up again in the juicy pan-roasted chicken ($17, pictured above), which is accompanied by buttery gnocchi, a silky butternut-squash purée, and sautéed spinach.

Not all of the dishes are prepared with such finesse. The tuna tartare starter ($14), which teased hot-paprika oil and an Asian-pear salad on the menu, was just plain bland. And although the oven-braised short ribs ($19) were fork tender, the sauce on the meat tasted flour-laden and gritty. The accompanying mac ’n’ cheese, meanwhile, suffered from truffle-oil overload.

The beverage list is a mix of classic cocktails and fruitier drinks, like the refreshing “Grammy White” ($10)—vodka blended with fresh lemon juice and raspberry purée.

Dixon is turning out quality dishes, and given the regular crowds, the neighborhood is already responding. Lincoln, in other words, is both sophisticated and fun—and may be built to last.

425 W. Broadway, South Boston, 617-765-8636,